Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Tweak These Google Chrome Settings to Level Up Your Browsing

Get the most out of Google's Chrome browser with these tips and tricks.

Chances are you spend a lot of your computing time inside a browser window, and quite possibly inside a Chrome tab; Google's browser has come from nowhere in 2008 to dominate the browser landscape on desktop and mobile. Part of Chrome's appeal is its ease of use, but it also has more advanced features just below the surface that can help you do more in less time.

To give your time online a boost, try these Chrome tips and tweaks. If you'd rather go for a more-privacy-focused browser, give one of these alternatives a spin. Or if you're heavy into Apple's ecosystem, try our guide to Safari on iOS and macOS.

1. Mute noisy sites

No one likes their browsing interrupted by auto-playing ads or videos. If one site is proving particularly annoying, you can silence it permanently. Right-click on the site's tab at the top of Chrome, then choose Mute Site. Pages from that particular domain won't be able to make a peep until you choose Unmute Site from the same menu.

2. Bring back closed tabs

Chrome keyboard shortcuts can make a real difference to how quickly you can get stuff done; see here for a full list. One of our favorites is Ctrl+Shift+T on Windows (or Cmd+Shift+T on a Mac): It brings back the tab that you most recently closed. You can keep pressing the same shortcut to open more and more recently closed tabs.

3. Change the look of Chrome

Chrome comes with a theming tool that you might not have discovered yet. Open up a new tab, then click on the Customize button in the bottom right. You can choose an entire theme based around a background image (Background), or set a specific gallery of colors (Color and theme), and even change the shortcuts that show up on new tabs (Shortcuts).

4. Look up your passwords

Chrome does an excellent job of remembering your passwords and usernames for various sites, but you might not always be logging on inside Chrome. If you need to look up a password, open the Chrome menu and choose Settings, then Passwords. You can search for a specific username or URL at the top, then click the eye icon to reveal the password.

5. Switch between profiles

Just like you can have user profiles for different people on Windows or macOS, you can have multiple Chrome profiles. It keeps passwords, history, settings, and more separate, and it works for different family members or just for different parts of your life, like work versus home. Click your avatar (top right) then Manage People to get started.

6. Embrace the emoji

If you think one emoji is worth a thousand words, you'll be interested in this one. You can right-click inside any text box in Chrome on Windows or macOS, then choose Emoji & Symbols to quickly access a gallery of icons and pictures. If you can't find what you're looking for straightaway, use the search box at the top or the category list at the bottom.

7. Find tabs you've opened elsewhere

As long as you're signed into the same Google account, you can quickly access open tabs on other computers where Chrome is installed. It's helpful for bringing back a tab from your office computer while you're at home, for example. From the Chrome menu, choose History, then History again, then click on Tabs from other devices to see a list.

8. Load up the task manager

Chrome has a task manager, just like Windows and macOS. It's useful for troubleshooting problems, closing problem tabs, and generally seeing which sites are hogging all of your system resources. To get it onscreen, open the Chrome menu (three dots, top right), then choose More Tools and Task Manager. Click on any entry in the list, then End Process to instantly kill it.

9. Cast your tabs

Google Chrome can send open tabs—or even your entire desktop—to a Chromecast device on your local Wi-Fi network. It's perfect for everything from big-screen presentations at the office to sharing photos with the family at home. Click the Chrome menu button, then Cast to choose a local Chromecast device.

10. Send pages to other devices

We've talked about checking on open tabs on different devices, but you can be more proactive about this if you want. Right-click on a tab header and choose Send to Your Devices and you'll see a list of all your devices where you're signed into Google Chrome, from phones to laptops. Take your pick to send the tab to the other device.

11. Quiet the notifications

Plenty of sites now ask to send you notifications through your browser, and if you think this is getting a bit out of hand, you can take back control. On any site, click the icon to the left of the address bar (either a padlock or an info symbol), then choose Site settings, then Notifications to choose whether to enable alerts from the site.

12. Pack the bookmarks bar

When you save a bookmark to the Bookmarks Bar, it shows up underneath your tabs. (Choose Bookmarks and Show Bookmarks Bar from the Chrome menu if you can't see it). Right-click on each of these bookmarks in turn, choose Edit and clear the Name field, and you'll be left with a compact row of favicons, so you can pack a lot more bookmarks in.

13. Enable reader mode

Chrome includes a stripped-down, distraction-free reader mode, but it's not enabled by default, and it's still a little rough around the edges. To get it, open a new tab and visit chrome://flags, then set the Enable Reader Mode flag to Enabled. Relaunch Chrome, and choose Distill Page from the main Chrome menu to put any page into reader mode.

14. Make full use of the omnibox

You probably already know you can type web searches as well as URLs into the Chrome omnibox (the address bar at the top of the page), but there's lots more you can type in there for instant answers. Try typing in calculations or entering "define …" and then a word of your choice, or look up a conversion between different measurement units.

All credit goes to http://bit.ly/2PywkuI

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

How to use Chrome like a pro

Chrome is the world's dominant web browser, but you could be using it more efficiently

Chances are you’re reading this on Google Chrome. Not you? Jog on. If we’re right, keep reading.

Sure, Chrome is easy to use, fast and lets you get on with the important business of wasting endless hours procrastinating rather than working on the very important report that’s due in a few hours. But Chrome can be so much more.

So stop aimlessly scrolling through random Wikipedia entries and start supercharging Chrome. It’s not a waste of time, honest.

First, make the most of your tabs

Right click on a tab, any tab. From this little dropdown menu you can, for example, pin a tab, which means it will stay fixed in one place. It’s handy for making sure you can always access your email or a reference sheet, and if you close Chrome, it’ll pop up again when you open a new browser window. You can also automatically open a link in a new tab by pressing the Alt key, or a Command key when you click on a link.

There are a few other shortcuts you can use to make tabs slightly easier to use – press Ctrl (or Command on a Mac) + Shift + T to open up the tab you most recently closed. Control (Command) + Shift + D will let you save all your tabs into a folder that you can access quite easily – so if you’re in the middle of working on a report, or you’re looking up holiday destinations but need to do something else, you can save your tabs to a folder, with a name.

You can also navigate between tabs by using the Ctrl + Tab keys together – use Control + Tab to navigate them, one by one, and then press Control + 1 to go the first tab (the one that’s furthest to the left) and so on. If you want to move multiple tabs at once, press Control (Command on a Mac) and click on each one, then press Command to deselect them.

First, make a Chrome profile

This might not be for everyone, due to Google’s rampant data collection, but it’s an easy way to keep all your bookmarks, browsing histories and log-ins connected across devices. If you use Gmail, you already have a Chrome profile that comes with this.

You’ll find that your bookmarks and passwords are saved to your account – so if Chrome is your browser on your phone, you don’t have to keep logging into different accounts. This is handy if you have a shared computer – so you can log out of your profile and the person who logs in after you will be able to view their own bookmarks, browsing history and so on.

This is also useful if you want to keep your information across devices – say you want to use a set of pages on your work computer too. Just go to Settings, and then adjust the Sync settings to your heart’s desire. If you want to, you can add a Guest user option in the same location.

Use it as a multimedia player

If you work with different kinds of media, or just want to take a closer look at a photo, you can drag and drop the file into an open and blank tab. Chrome will act as a kind of multimedia player, so unless the file is really big or runs on a very obscure software, you can use Chrome to double check that a file isn’t corrupted or preview a video. You can drag and drop files as attachments – for example, into emails or if you’re uploading content to a website.

Task manager

Just like your computer has a task manager, so too does Chrome. Press the Shift + Escape keys together, and a task manager will pop up – you can use this to see which tabs are using the most energy, where sound is coming from and whether there are pop ups or tabs that you didn’t realise you had open. You can also see which extensions you still have running, and how much memory they’re taking up.

Depending on which version of Chrome you’re using, the keyboard shortcut may have been removed by Google. If this is the case it can be found by clicking on the three dots in the top right corner of your browser and navigating down to ‘More tools’.


If you find that you constantly open the same set of pages when you use Chrome, you can make them your default start option. Go to Settings, press the Set Pages options and then add as many as you want. It’s probably best not to add anything with audio for your own sake, but it’s useful if you want to check the news and your email first thing in the morning. Pinning certain pages will have the same effect.

Use the Omnibox

It’s not actually a memory guzzling extension. Omnibox is the term for the search bar in Chrome, but it’s much more than just a search bar. It can actually do a lot of things which aren’t just googling the time. You can carry out basic calculations by typing them into the bar, or converting from one currency to another.

You can even use a blank tab as a one-off note taker – enter “data:text/html, ” and you’ll get a quick notepad. The files won’t save, but it’s useful if you want to jot something down quickly. For quick access, save this as a bookmark.

With a few tweaks you can also search your email or Google Drive directly from the search bar. To do this you have to create a new search engine in Chrome – it’s not as complex as it sounds. Right click in the Omnibox and select ‘edit search engines’.
Scroll to ‘other search engines’ and click on add. Here you enter the name of the website you want to search, a keyword that you’ll type into Chrome’s Omnibox, and a URL. The URL should be the search result page of the service you’re setting the system up for.

For instance: a search of your emails could be called Gmail, have the keyword gmail, and then will use the URL: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/%s. (The percent symbol and lowercase ‘s’ represent where your search query would normally be). Once this is saved if you type the keyword (gmail) into Chrome’s search bar and press the Tab key, you’ll then be able to enter the phrase you want to search in your email for. It takes a couple of minutes to setup but can be a time saver. You can create search engines in this way for websites such as Google Drive but also non-Google services such as Amazon.


You should really use a best password managers and the latest versions of Chrome have one built in. But this may not be ideal for everyone, plenty of people prefer to use non-Google password storage systems. But if you’re fully committed to Google, there’s also Autofill. As its name suggests, it will automatically enter your saved details into the website or service you’re trying to login to.

You can manually input your Autofill information – passwords, credit card details, email accounts – so that you don’t have to re-enter it every single time you need it. Go to Settings, then Advanced Settings, and find Autofill Settings. You can update your information there, but you can also delete it if you use a shared computer, or if you’re just feeling a little nervous.


Google Chrome’s extensions and plug-ins store is pretty handy, and it has a huge range of plug-ins which you can use to make your life slightly easier. You can find them by going to the Chrome Store. Some, like CrowdTangle, can be useful if you’re tracking social media stats. Others can increase the volume of any audio playing from your browser, like Volume Booster. OneTab collates all of your open tabs into a folder, and you can press it to open them up again.

If the add-ons become too much, you can right click on their icons in the toolbar and press Hide in Chrome menu. If you want to find them again, press the line of three dots on the toolbar, where the icons will pop up again. Check out our guide to the best Chrome extensions if you want to find more options.

Create shortcuts

It’s possible to create clickable shortcuts onto your desktop, by clicking on the three dot icon on the toolbar. Press More Tools, then Create Shortcut. This will create Chrome app on your computer than can then be moved to somewhere that’s easy to access. As a result, you can get to some key webpages quickly from your desktop.

There are some other browser shortcuts which you can use without much modification, such as Control (Command on a Mac) + N, which opens up a new browser window; Control (Command) + Shift + N will open up a new incognito window; Control (Command) + J will open up your downloads page; and Control (Command) + H will open up a History page. If you use Control (Command) + D on any page, that’ll automatically add it to your bookmarks, and you can organise it from there.


There’s a couple of easy ways to look at your browsing history – one is pressing the back button on your browser and holding it down. It shows you the pages you most recently visited, so you can navigate to one of them if you’ve taken too many wrong turns. You can also view your whole browsing history by going to the three dot menu and pressing the viewing option.


You’ll know about incognito mode already, but there are a few other steps you can take to protect your privacy while using Google Chrome. (Reminder: Google and your internet provider still see what you browse in ingonito mode. All the mode does is not save your history on the device you’re using).

If you press the padlock symbol to the left of the URL on any web page, you can check what that page is doing – for example, whether it’s tracking your location, using your webcam or how many cookies it’s running. You can also add a Guest Browser option if you really want to go the extra step, particularly if you’re using a work computer or if a shared computer.

All credit for this article goes to http://bit.ly/2sbKpW2

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Google Suggests 6 Tips to Become a Savvy Internet Searcher

Most of us utilize search engines like Google multiple times throughout the day for various information. However, the World Wide Web is overflowing with data and many times, simply typing in your query on Google’s search bar is not enough to obtain the required information.

To help you out, Daniel Russell, Senior Research Scientist from Google Search team, suggests six ways that will ensure your search results are accurate and efficient – every time! Try them out and become a smart searcher.

Search…one more time

A majority of internet user just search one time, see the results on the first page and assume that they are the answers. However, sometimes the answers that are visible on the first pages of the search results don’t cover the broad range of topic you are interested in.

To rectify the problem and get accurate answers for your query, conduct the search 2 – 3 times for more perspectives from credible sources. Sometimes incognito search can bring slightly different results, so make sure you try that private browsing option as well.

Start with a broad term

Begin your search with a general term and narrow it down to the specific query as you continue the searching process. For example, if you search for "Digital marketing classes" you'll probably get a plethora of interesting (and irrelevant) results in that category. Then, you can try a well define search something like "Social media management training in San Francisco".

Mix and match

Keywords are an important part of your search journey. Try using a couple of different keywords during the search process to help the search algorithms determine what you are looking for in an accurate manner. You can also try different variations on different search engines and compare the answers.

Check for credibility

When checking the results of your search, make sure to analyze the website you are taking the information from. Is the website credible? Does the information they provide align with other sources? You can also check out online forums and discussion boards to see what other internet users are saying about the website and even the information you are looking for!

Don’t add the answer in your search query

Sometimes we already suspect the answers to the questions we are looking for. However, avoid adding the same to your search query as it will sway the search result from the accurate answer. Instead, only type in your question and narrow down the answers from credible sources.

Search out of the box

Search is not limited to written content. You can go beyond the prime features of the search engine and look at images, news videos, and books section for your specific query. For example, you are looking for help in making your resume. Besides reading up on the helpful tips, you can check out the image bar for example resumes.

Or if you want to learn how to make the braid like Elsa of Frozen. Simply reading the content may not help you ace the hairstyle. Instead, you can see videos for step-by-step instructions that will teach you precisely how to make the braid.

Final thoughts

These were just some of the tips that will help you in your searches. Give them a try during your next round of searches and let us know how they helped.

All credit for this article goes to https://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2019/11/6-steps-being-pro-google-searcher.html